I remember sitting in the crowd, listening to the preacher and feeling so discouraged, condemned and hopeless. While there were “Amens” floating all through the room with every passing word coming from his mouth – I was thinking – “Could you please stop telling me WHAT I need to do and tell me HOW to do it!”
The message that day was about about the ONE thing we NEED to be doing…
It was about the GREATEST commandment –
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5
I heard that preacher telling me that this is THE command – This is what is DEMANDED of me – It’s not a request and if I would just love God more, my life would be better.
Here was my problem, I already had a heart that longed to love God more. I wanted to be completely surrendered – I wanted to be everything this man said I should be…but how do you MAKE yourself love someone more?
Love isn’t just a feeling, and it isn’t just doing the right things – it’s so much more and if it was as easy as the preacher man said, I would have done it already.
I left that day in tears – and my only hope was that God would help me.
The problem with that message is that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to love others more in your own strength – including God. Trust me, I tried and tried and tried only to feel like I failed, over and over and over again. The funny thing is that the answer IS simple.
Are you ready?
“We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
We can’t give what we have never received. The ONLY way to love God and others more is to receive His love FIRST.
When we relax and rest and just allow Him to love us, we then love Him back naturally. Loving God and others isn’t something we can try real hard to create with-in ourselves by concentrating more or focusing more. It should come out of the overflow of His love for you.
I’m going to tell you today that if you can relate to this post, stop trying so hard. Start with a simple prayer. “Lord help me receive your love. Give me a deeper revelation of your love for me.” That’s all you need.
I wish the preacher would have started with this. This gives me hope and makes me feel accepted and satisfied. He calls us to love Him and others but He also enables us to do it through His love, strength and power.
Now THAT’S Good News if I ever heard some.
That’s my two cents for the day!
Keep It real – Daveda
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BIO: Daveda Schmidlin is a happy wife, mother, and grandmother. She is a speaker, teacher, author and former pastor who is passionate about the Gospel of Grace. Her message is sincere, encouraging, simple and profound. Her words will set people free from condemnation and will help usher them into a deeper revelation and understanding of God’s great love.